A Farewell to Legs (Aaron Tucker Series #2)by Jeffrey Cohen
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Work-at-home dad, devoted husband, hustling freelance writer, aspiring screenwriter—all ways to describe the unwilling sleuth Aaron Tucker, whom one reviewer dubbed a combination of “Bart Simpson and James Bond.” In A Farewell to Legs, the second installment of the Aaron Tucker Mystery Series, Aaron is back on the trail again, this time trying to ferret out the murderer of a former high school classmate, a D.C. lobbyist whose enemies finally stick it to him, literally—with a six-inch steak knife. The deceased leaves behind a bombshell of a widow, a secret bankroll of $13 million, and a cloud of political controversy, all of which lead Aaron to a barrel of red herrings.
But in the life of Aaron Tucker, one mystery is never enough (though he’d be quick to tell you otherwise). He’s also been delegated the odious task of tracking down Buzbee School’s secret stink-bomber. And, much to Aaron’s consternation, his wife, the beautiful attorney Abby Stein, is being stalked by a former client. All in a day’s work for the diminutive freelance writer, who, as procrastinator extraordinaire, would rather be doing anything but investigating.
Despite a relatively short period of existence, Jeffrey Cohen’s Aaron Tucker series is fast gaining a cult-like following. Writing for Best Reviews, Angela McQuay probably provided the most insightful explanation why: “The best thing about Cohen's books is Aaron Tucker himself. A non-stop wisecracker who refuses to take anything seriously, Aaron is the type of everyman whom readers can relate to and commiserate with. He's our best friend, our neighbor, or even our husband. Unlike many of the toughtalking, hardheaded detectives that perpetuate fiction today, Aaron is someone we could easily know or be. It's also refreshing to have our hero be a stay-at-home dad whose wife makes more money than he does and who doesn't seem to think that cleaning up after dinner is beneath him."
Meet the Author
Jeffrey Cohen started life as poor street urchin, orphaned and taken in by a gang of pickpockets led by an older man named Fagin. No, wait. That's someone else, entirely.
In reality, Cohen was born in Newark, NJ during a certain year, and grew (more or less) up in Irvington, NJ, otherwise known as the Garden Spot of the Western Hemisphere.
After a childhood of normal duration, Cohen attended Rutgers College in New Brunswick, New Jersey, so as to maintain a record of never having left the Garden State for more than two weeks at a time, something which has never been equaled (or attempted) by anyone else. He studied English (when actually attending classes and not lounging at the student newspaper office), but decided to work as a journalist anyway.
Finding work of a sort at the Passaic Herald-News, he served as a municipal reporter for well over six months, establishing new lows in news gathering, but managing, in his final work for the newspaper, to quote Chico Marx.
Following a hideous foray into public relations, Cohen eventually became a trade journalist, covering the consumer electronics business until someone told him to stop.
Since 1985, he has been a freelance reporter and writer, writing for such publications as The New York Times, TV Guide, USA Weekend, Premiere, American Baby and The Newark Star-Ledger, among many others.
He is also the author of more than 20 feature-length screenplays, some of which are actually good. His work has been developed by Jim Henson Productions, CBS, Gross-Weston Productions, Ken Walz Productions and others.
Cohen lives in New Jersey (big surprise!) with his wife and two children, who have been sworn to secrecy.
For Whom the Minivan Rolls: An Aaron Tucker Mystery was his first novel, but defying both logic and public opinion, he wrote A Farewell to Legs: An Aaron Tucker Mystery anyway. And despite that book's rampant sales success, he went on to write As Dog Is My Witness: Another Aaron Tucker Mystery. He is also the author of The Asperger Parent: How to Raise A Child With Asperger Syndrome and Maintain Your Sense of Humor and Guns A' Blazing: How Parents of Children on the Autism Spectrum and Schools Can Work Together—Without A Shot Being Fired, two books that vie for the Guinness Book of World Records spot for "Longest Subtitle." He's also written a grocery list that has attracted a good deal of attention in Hollywood, and is being develop
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If you enjoyed the first Aaron Tucker mystery, For Whom the Minivan Rolls, you're REALLY going to love A Farewell to Legs! All the elements that made the first book so enjoyable are back, and so is much more. The plot is just as twisted and enjoyable, the jokes are just as funny, and the characters are maybe even a little bit more lovable! Aaron goes back to his high school reunion, and there, the class sex symbol Stephanie Jacobs finds out her husband, a Washington lobbyist, has been murdered. Stephanie asks Aaron to look into it, and before he knows it, he's getting rocks through his window, nasty anonymous phone calls and threats to him personally--but he can't figure out why. Also, Aaron has to find out who threw the stink bombs in his children's school, or the principal, a friend of his, could be in jeopardy. It's all over-the-top, but also human and believable. And the conclusion, as the mysteries are solved one by one, is very, very funny. Anyone familiar with the series will agree that A Farewell to Legs is a worthy successor to For Whom the Minivan Rolls. And anyone who isn't familar with the series should consider themselves lucky that now they have TWO books to enjoy. I can't wait for the third!
I've read the three Aaron Tucker books, and they are generally good reads. This book, the middle one, is okay, but a significant plot element relies on something that I believe is not (currently, at least) possible. This left me less than satisfied.
Cohen as 2 series--unfortunately, he's not actually "writing" them right now (at least according to his website). He's not stopped but he has no idea when he might write another one. This one is the 2nd in this series and it was thought out, funny, and a fast read. Though the Aaron Tucker stories don't need to be read in order (all 3 of them), it doest help you understand his family, his career as a stay-at-home-father/freelance writer/would be screenwriter. You also get to know the recurring characters better. The mystery is really very good in this one--logical and surprising. Close to a "can't put it down" and definitely "I wish it wasn't over".
When he attended Bloomfield High School Aaron Tucker did not fit in any of the accepted groups. He therefore cannot understand why he is going to attend the twenty-fifth anniversary reunion bash though his pal from those days think it is because he still has the hots for Stephanie Jacobs. Aaron is in denial as he is happily married to Abby the attorney. Stephanie is as sexy as ever as she swivels her hips and puts on her Marilyn Monroe Academy Award smile. She says to Aaron that she heard he solves mysteries so would he look into the murder of her powerful DC lobbyist husband as the police believe she killed him over his extramarital affairs. Feeling like a time traveler back to his teen years when the school's sex siren gave him a hickey that was his only claim to fame and knowing that he is a writer Aaron fumblingly agrees. Soon he finds he is under assault to butt out or face the consequences, but he refuses and even expands his inquiries when side threats target his wife and a friend. The sequel to the amusing FOR WHOM THE MINIVAN ROLLS, A FAREWELL TO ARMS, is as humorous as the first tale as the story line never takes itself seriously. The fine investigation is filled with twists and a few sidebar inquiries though all that jocularity takes away from the main mystery. Aaron remains a delight and the regulars add depth to his personality, but in this story sexy Stephanie provides the added oomph for a fun time for fans of jocular amateur sleuth tales. Harriet Klausner